A multigrade classroom is a single classroom that hosts a class made up of students in multiple grades. The students can be of different ages or of the same ages but in different grade levels. There is usually only one teacher, or a teacher and an assistant, per class.
These classrooms are found in both small and large schools. Small schools often have them because of a small number of students per grade. Putting two or more grades into a single classroom keeps costs down and gives the teacher a full class to teach. Larger schools sometimes combine grades when the enrollment does not provide the right number of students for a final, full class in each grade. Multigrade classrooms were common in the past, and in third world countries they are still rampant.
Multigrade classrooms are also called multiage classrooms and split-grade classrooms. Students in these classrooms still receive the required education for their grade level and do not usually have any negative educational affects. In some cases, the younger children actually perform better than expected or anticipated due to their interaction with older students. The added diversity in the classroom also helps the children learn to socialize with different groups in the school.